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I have a pc with two hard drives, one runs Ubuntu 10.10 and the other has NTFS with a broken XP. The XP failed after I upgrade Ubuntu to 10.10. I installed virtualbox in Ubuntu so for a while I was happy with the setting.

Recently I needed to revive the XP to a dual boot since I need to test a piece of hardware that cannot be done in a virtual machine setting. So I inserted the XP install CD and rebooted the machine. When I hit the return to install XP, I noticed that the XP install CD did not recognise hard drives correctly: reporting the linux hard drives in a much smaller sizes and as C drive of unknown type. For the second drive, it reports a few unpartitioned space and an NTFS partition. I tried to see if I can install XP in the unpartitioned space but failed. For fearing erase my linux hard drive, I decided to abandon the effort. However the damage is already there: Ubuntu 10.10 is gone.

I booted the machine with a Ubuntu 10.10 live CD, it could not recognise the linux hard drive any more. Testdisk told me that the linux hard drive is now in a FAT file system. I tried a few testdisk commands in vain to restore any linux partition and then I realised I had better stop messing with it further.

In this case, what is the best way, if any, to recover the partition and data in the linux hard drive?

Thanks in advance.

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Does GParted report that the partition is deleted? If it does, you're screwed - there's no way to recover data from a nuked partition. Unless you want to grep for all your important information, which would be rather tedious. –  new123456 Mar 22 '11 at 22:10
First, make an image backup, and experiment on that. –  Bob Mar 25 '11 at 18:49
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